Sunday, March 29, 2015

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for the Tay, Perthshire, Scotland week commencing 30th March 2015.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Prospects for the Tay, Perthshire, Scotland week commencing 30th March 2015.

The Spring Salmon fishing season is now nearly into April on the mighty Tay in Perthshire, Scotland and we have had a reasonably settled week with good conditions for the pursuit of that magical spring salmon apart from rising river levels at the end of the week. The weather is to remain fairly settled over the coming week and colder, which hopefully will not deter the chances of producing good sport and some early "Bars of Silver" if you are prepared to brave the elements. Catches have improved slowly and the quality of the salmon caught remains outstanding but as we go deeper into April hopefully conditions will remain favourable and there will be a further improvement in the run to give further success as happened in the last couple of years.
Currently the river settling back nicely with excellent conditions (below 5’ and falling on the Ballathie gauge) to hopefully encourage more spring salmon to run.
The weather is to be slightly colder and reasonably settled over the next week after the unsettled weather over the weekend. Colder conditions certainly benefit the river at this time of year slowing the spring salmon run down and giving everyone a chance to catch as they run up the river slowly. The milder weather forecast at times last week and recent big spate triggered off salmon to run the river in improving catches. Expectation remains very high. Colder weather will settle the river back to a good level and make ideal spring fishing conditions. The water temperature is slowly creeping up to around 42 degrees Fahrenheit or 5.5 degrees Celsius. These are typical temperatures for this time of year. The colder weather has benefited the lower beats so far but the fish are spreading so there might be a chance of a fresh fish anywhere in the river after milder conditions prevailed last week. There will still be odd kelts about on many beats and they will be quite silver now and should not be mistaken for a spring salmon. Should you require guidance on salmon identification at this time of year please see this link for some help.
As to methods, in settled conditions fishing by any method will have to be slow and deep with large lures to catch the elusive Tay Springer. Harling is also a favoured method at this time of year but be warned wrap up well or it will not be a pleasant experience.
Finally you are reminded that the Tay's policy for January – 1st April 2015 is that all spring salmon must be released, i.e. the Tay has a policy of 100% mandatory release of all salmon caught under the new Scottish Government Statutory Conservation Regulation. Spring salmon are a scarce and precious resource. Please preserve both them and the long term future of your sport by following the release of salmon as it is a now legal requirement during this period even if a fish has died. The Board's bailiff team will be enforcing this new legislation. This requirement is about to end on Tuesday.
The Tay's policy for April and May is that all spring salmon should be released, i.e. the Tay has adopted a policy of 100% catch and release for spring salmon. Spring salmon are a scarce and precious resource. Please help preserve both them and the long term future of your sport by following the recommendations. It is vital the river system follows these guides to ensure the draconian rules do not get extended in seasons to come.
The Tay Ghillies Association are continuing their popular FISH OF THE MONTH AWARD to encourage good catch and release practice on the Tay. Each month the winner will receive 2 personalised crystal Whisky glasses engraved with details of the catch and they will automatically be entered into the fish of the year competition for a Stylish Crystal Engraved Decanter. Full details of this initiative.
When releasing salmon please try to keep the fish in the water as much as possible to give them every chance to recover prior to release. Releasing fish from boats in the river is not recommended. Further information on the policy and good release practice.
If you have any news or pictures of catches or experiences on the Tay and you would like to share them please email me on to be included in the reports.

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